• Somebody probably decided it was more respectful to say "late" than dead kicked the bucket or my personal favorite... ...bit the big one.
  • It is a kind or euphemistic expression when talking about someone who is deceased. You can find this definition on an etymological website: "Euphemism for deceased, particularly when speaking of the dead person's actions while alive. Often used with the."
  • They might be early to death,but they will be late for dinner :)
  • Late: The sense of "deceased" (as in the late Mrs. Smith) is from 1490, from an adv. sense of "recently." It comes from referring to someone as "formerly belonging to or living at". For instance this home belonged to "the late Mr. Ed. Smith." Meaning formerly belonging to or recently belonging to.
  • I'm pretty sure it comes from the expression, "Better late than never".

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